Sam Hicks shares his thoughts on the present and future of Broker Account Management at OnlineDIRECT
Since we made the structural change to service our Brokers geographically by North and South, we have been able to focus more resources within the Account Management Teams, resulting in what we believe is a greater improvement in our service offering.
Prior to 1st April 2018, your Account Management point of contact (Formerly Relationship Manager) would have been responsible for a wide variety of different roles, including financial escalations, SME queries, Corporate tendering, etc. We have now scaled this role more efficiently to help support our Brokers more effectively. In both the North and South teams, we, the Area Managers, are responsible for managing the Key Account Managers, Account Managers, and Business Development Managers. We strategically work with our teams to aid growth and success and continue to work on new projects and business opportunities to identify maximum growth for Brokers within our areas. Our Key Account Managers act as the main point of contact for our Brokers and strive to improve and strengthen existing relationships. Our Account Managers continue to ensure our Business pipeline achieves its maximum potential by working rejections and improving our Brokers’ live rates. The Business Development Managers, predominantly field-based; continue to add to our existing portfolio with new Brokers/Partners within their designated geographical areas.
Since the Business re-structure, we have seen great improvement in several areas. One of the overriding successes has seen our portfolio live rate improve by nearly 3% in the first 4 months of the financial year, well ahead of the company expectation. Furthermore, with greater resources within the team, it’s allowed our Key Account Managers a greater presence in the field to further improve the relationship between our Brokers and OnlineDIRECT. By working closely with our Business Development Managers and the on-boarding process, we now have an improved focus on the Broker journey – allowing full visibility of how the Broker works from the first day they join, right up until they have an established working relationship with OnlineDIRECT. Furthermore, centralising our Area Management email and telephone systems has helped improve efficiencies further.
With splitting the portfolio geographically into two teams (North and South), we have both observed noticeable trends. Generally, our team in the North Team processes a lower number of contracts compared to the South. However, the average contract length is longer in the North, than is typical of Brokers in the South. With these trends among others, we endeavor to offer a flexible service to our Broker network and customise our skill set to match any type of Broker.
In recent months, we’ve seen wholesale and third-party charges increase, as well as legislative industry changes, and we hope to continue to support our Brokers to overcome any industry change or shift in direction. We both look forward to continuing to grow and develop our existing portfolio and internal teams. We would both like to wish all our Partners the best and all the success for the future.
By Sam Hicks – Area Manager TPI South